Soil Perculation

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Smallaxe, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. Grasssales2001

    Grasssales2001 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 111

    Accurate info? What's that? A lot of the "pros" don't care if they use sound horticultural practices. They are way more interested in uneccesary add ons so they can make more $$$$.
     
  2. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    Or they buy into something a dealer is telling them to do.
     
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Measuring and changing the Ca/Mg ratio seems to be more expense than aerate/topdress... does it really allow the clay soil to eventually drain???

    taking the time to 'think through' the conversation, will prevent gaining false impressions but may create some new ideas... thanks to everyone for helping me 'think this through'... :)

    I wonder, does anyone else out there have clay that will never soak up water more than 3"-4" inches deep???
     
  4. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,746

    Ax,
    That is me.........Upper Mississippi Delta.......the area on Crawley's Ridge where not one stitch of land is considered sandy loam as the flood plains. We are rocky, heavy soiled areas.
    In knowing the reasons for compaction, nutrient content and CEC ratios for what is considered healthy turf is all good. When a soil isn't mature anymore from progress of construction and then becomes lifeless, compacted,raped of all its structure. Sod is thrown on this mess and as pro's we are to figure out how to maintain the integrity, color, density and health of something less dignified.
    When coring, aerating, thatching, addition of cal-mag,lime-according to state results,organic material isn't something that is considered professional...........then what does all this mathematical, soil nutrientology have to do with saying--" I really can't change what has been done, all I can do is just do what I can!" Soil Science is interesting to me......so is making a living......but there comes a time when you can't do anything about it financially.
     
  5. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    Axe, some of the soils I deal with are in excess of 50% clay, some with Ca:Mg ratio less than 1, and I can get my irrigation water to any depth I want.
     
  6. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    clay likes water!

    What percolation rate do you use Kril? :laugh:
     
  7. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,941

    Yes. I must be on a different planet, because the least invasive and lowest cost option for me is to apply 200 lb per acre of solution grade calcium nitrate as part of the spoon feed program. Trucking in topdressing materials and core aerating is $$$$$$ to do. The effect does not last either because I have not addressed the Ca:Mg ratio. It would be the same soil with holes punched into it and material pushed into the holes + on the surface.
     
  8. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,941

    Adding lime to high bicarbonate soils makes concrete. That is why I have to look away when know-it-alls throw dolomite on clay without soil testing first. They are usually dealing with soil that has high Mg and bicarbonates.
     
  9. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    The best source of carbon is the plants themselves and a well managed fertilization program. Aeration and compost dressing is just a jump start on poor soils with an established lawn.

    It is not needed on an on-going basis. Likely 2 or 3 times at most unless the turf is subjected to heavy use that will compact it.
     
  10. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,941

    Well said. I had to deal with some tree hugging granola eating types at a meeting the other week wanting to constantly apply compost instead of a good fertility program. According to my mentor who was also at that meeting, I thoroughly #$%^ all over that. By correcting soil chemistry and feeding the grass what it needs, it does its own aeration and organic matter creation. Why do that manually when there is a less invasive way to do it?

    I bypass bad root systems when designing a program. Do not depend on slow release this or that. Which is usually formulated with the wrong N and K sources. Now if someone were making slow release ammonium sulfate and potassium nitrate, I could change. MESA does not count because that is partially urea. I am not being paid to try to maintain turf on 3-4 applications in a 12 month 365 day growing season. In fact, anyone sold on 3-4 applications a year is asked to look elsewhere. My grasses are also not allergic to nitrogen during the growing season either.
     

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